phishing for souls

Why do wars begin? Why, indeed? Several times in history, the pattern is repeated: we see a general peace, apparently welcome to all concerned, but beneath this peace we see fear and suspicion constantly threatening it. No power wants war, but each fears that some incident will create war. The atmosphere is combustible and therefore a spark may set the world ablaze. Consequently, when a spark does fly, there is a rush to stifle and isolate it. Even those who might profit by a fire in that quarter are too frightened to exploit it; for it might spread.

Competition between Catholics and Protestants in the period just before the Thirty Years War is the subject of this painting by Adriaen van de Venne's allegoriacal painting Fishing for Souls. The Protestants are in two boats, the Catholics in the middle and arrayed on the bank. Image:Wiki

And so the peace is kept; the various danger spots are guarded; even their dangers are preserved, not eliminated, for to eliminate them is to touch them and to touch them is to set them off. And then, suddenly a spark flies which is not isolated; the complex system of insurance suddenly fails; the wind blows, and all the danger spots are simultaneously alight: it is general war. Who can say whether an incident will break out of the carefully preserved anomalies and irrational partitions, localized, or pour in an unguarded moment, into a sudden spontaneous consuming flame?

---The Thirty Years War saw some unspeakable degradation.Callot's famous hangman's tree compresses into one powerful symbol all the horrors of those times: when no one knew when he might be led up the ladder and given a benediction before joining the grisly fruit of its branches. Image:

aI think it can be stated that no general war ever arises out of mere incidents. This is important to keep in mind, as both Israel, Iran and its allies, perhaps including Egypt are loading up for potential serious conflict. These types of generalized regional wars arise because the governments of the great powers who have sway over their actions want this type of war and feel they can be exploited to advantage. War because they could not win the peace? …

---Even apparent atrocities committed in Honour and the Sword were in reality commonplace, and we should not be misled by the French narrators into believing the Spaniards were worse than anybody else. Desecration of the dead, for instance, was widely practised in order to intimidate a local population or simply as part of the wildness of the initial rampage. At Eichstätt in 1633 even the bodies of nuns were dug up in the convent graveyard ‘leaving one deceased Sister with her right hand upraised’ (eyewitness account of Clara Steiger).---Read More:


Lawrence Solomon:resident Barack Obama recently provided Israel with a choice: Rather than bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities now, when success would be iffy at best, give diplomacy and “crippling” economic sanctions time to work. If crippling sanctions don’t work, Israel would still have the option to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities later, and with the promise of U.S. help.

But Israel, frustrated at the West’s tardiness in applying economic sanctions, has a third option that could have a high probability of success. In addition to attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, Israel could unilaterally cripple Iran’s economy by bombing its commercial energy facilities. Doing so soon — rather than after the U.S. election, as Obama requests — might have added merits, too: For Israel, the likelihood of a shorter and much narrower war with far fewer Israeli casualties; for the West, less likelihood of a prolonged oil crisis that would trigger another global recession.

The Arab Spring provides a constellation of reasons that motivates Israel to act soon. Prior to the rebellions that broke out last year throughout the Middle East, Iran had one Sunni ally against Israel, the Hamas-run statelet of Gaza, and two Sunni-hating allies, the Allawite-led government of Syria and the Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. In a war against Israel prior to the Arab Spring, at least two and possibly all three would have eagerly joined in the fight, presenting Israel with the dread prospect of a multi-front war.

Now, and for as long as the turmoil of the Arab Spring persists, many Israeli analysts believe Israel has partial immunity from attack. Syria’s Assad, who is winning his brutal war against the Free Syrian rebels, knows that his government could fall if he gives Israel reason to join the rebels, who have reportedly asked Israel for help in countering Assad. Syria, the most formidable of Israel’s direct neighbours, wou

lmost certainly refrain from attacking Israel in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran.

Hamas, which broke with Assad over his brutality toward fellow Sunnis, which now supports the Syrian rebels, and which, as a result, lost its Iranian funding of $23-million per month, may also stay on the sidelines in a war between Iran and Israel….Read More:

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